After navigating their way past the Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC have set up a Semi-Final against Melbourne City which will be played out over two legs.
The first leg takes place this Friday and will see the Sky Blues host the Premiers at Allianz Stadium before the return leg at AAMI Park the following Friday.
Sydney FC and Steve Corica cannot be in better form after winning each of the last four games with wins against Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets and most recently, Western Sydney. This is their best run of wins since a six game spell in 2021 which culminated in the 2021 Grand Final.
They appear to have tightened up at the back which clouded their early season results after conceding cheap goals. The return of Alex Wilkinson and Jack Rodwell has made the Sky Blues much stronger in defence having only conceded one goal in the last three matches which came via the penalty spot.
A number of Sydney FC players called Melbourne City home in the past with Andrew Redmayne, Anthony Caceres, Luke Brattan, Paulo Retre and Alex Wilkinson all pulling on the light blue previously. Their allegiances now belong to Sky Blue and they will be aiming to get Sydney FC to their eight Grand Final over the two legs.
While Sydney FC played out the thrilling Sydney Derby, Melbourne City had the week off after finishing the season at the top of the table. Their last outing was a come from behind victory against the Western Sydney Wanderers which saw them lift the Premiers Plate after wrapping up first place, two weeks prior.
Marco Tilio scored a brace that evening against the Wanderers and his stoppage time winner ensured that City left with all three points and gave them their third consecutive Premiers Plate. The reached 55 points this season which betters their 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns by six points and scored more goals too.
This season, Jamie Maclaren has reached new heights by scoring 24 goals. He has broken most goalscoring records set in the league and now is the best finisher that the Isuzu UTE A-League has ever seen. He surpassed Besart Berisha’s record of 142 goals in the competition and now stands alone at the top.
City have set the pace this season however in the first meeting between these two sides, it was Sydney FC who got the better of them and handed them their first defeat of the season when Joe Lolley and Adam Le Fondre cancelled out a Maclaren first half penalty.
In the reverse fixture at AAMI Park, defensive lapses cost the Sky Blues as Melbourne City ran out 3-2 winners. Robert Mak and Diego Caballo were on the scoresheet that afternoon with the Spaniard curling in a beautiful free kick in second half stoppage time to bring the scoreline to within one.
This time around, with Sydney FC coming off the high of the Sydney Derby and Melbourne City coming off their week off, it will be very difficult to call this encounter.
Both teams have met in Finals twice, with Sydney FC winning the 2020 Grand Final, and Melbourne City winning the 2021 Grand Final. This will be the 41st meeting between the two sides with Sydney FC winning 16, City 14 and the other ten drawn.
Bobo and Jamie Maclaren are the top scorers in this fixture with eight goals a piece across the years.
This will be the perfect Friday night entertainment as the Semi-Finals get underway at Allianz Stadium.
Sydney FC v Melbourne City
Isuzu UTE A-League Semi Final First Leg
Friday 12th May 2023
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEST
Gates Open: 6:45pm AEST
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Bold
Tickets: Click Here